Laura Quinney

Laura Quinney is the author of Literary Power and the Criteria of Truth and The Poetics of Disappointment: Wordsworth to Ashbery. She teaches at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Louise Glück, the poet laureate of the United States for 2003-2004, belongs to the line of American poets who value fierce lyric compression. This tradition was established by Emily Dickinson and her followers: H.D., Louise Bogan and Elizabeth Bishop. It is a tradition predominantly, though not exclusively, of women poets; the opposing tradition of ornate or discursive amplitude has been...

Everyone who reads Paul Muldoon will be dazzled by his linguistic exuberance. He follows the lead of Pope and Byron, engaging in many of the displays of wit that they engage in, particularly an exotic vocabulary and inventive rhyme. He loves terms of art, slang, botanical names, the names of foodstuffs and fabrics, rare words, proper names and place names. His poems send one joyfully to the...

“Ricks appears to regard poetry as a place of perfection and he resents Bloom for attempting to insinuate into it some of the squalor of ordinary life. The essays are implicitly linked by Ricks’s view of poetry as providing intimacy with the dead, a solace and comfort in our necessary isolation. Allusion does in particular what poetry does in general, intertwining the contemporary voice with the welcome voice of the predecessor.”

Creases and Flecks: Mark Doty

Laura Quinney, 3 October 2002

Mark Doty specialises in ekphrasis. The word once meant the description of a work of visual art within a poem, but has come to mean poetic description more generally. Sometimes Doty describes a work of art (Murano glass, a watercolour by Elizabeth Bishop), sometimes an ordinary object (a second-hand kimono, a crab shell), sometimes a part of the natural world (beaches, horses, dogs),...

Kohl-Rimmed: James Merrill

Laura Quinney, 4 April 2002

This Collected Poems is not a ‘Complete Poetry’. It omits Merrill’s trilogy of book-length poems, The Changing Light at Sandover, as well as a number of uncollected or unpublished poems. The notes are minimal. Merrill died in 1995: the editors of this volume, who are also his literary executors, apparently decided to publish a reader’s edition in short order. I hope it...

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